Operating under the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), US Special Forces are trained to carry out missions using unconventional tactics. Much of their work is classified. However, a Freedom of Information Act request by the New York-based Vice News has revealed extensive deployment of US Special Forces in Africa in recent times.
Information provided to Vice News by the USSOCOM appears to show that operations by US Special Forces in Africa have seen dramatic growth in recent years, possibly more than any other region of the globe. According to documents, US Special Forces in Africa represented just over 1 percent of all US Special Forces personnel stationed abroad in 2006. By 2010, that number had risen to approximately 3 percent —a significant increase but still relatively low in comparison to USSOCOM deployment in other regions of the world. But by 2016, over 17 percent of US Special Forces stationed abroad were based in Africa. Information unearthed by Vice News shows that 1,700 US Special Forces troops were stationed in 20 different African countries in 2016. This number indicates that there are now more US Special Forces troops stationed in Africa than in any other region of the world barring the Middle East.